Guide to Recurve Bows

Recurve Bow : What is it?

Recurve Bows

Recurve bows are designed to curve away from the user when drawn, resulting in faster arrows and more forceful shots. They are made up of a riser with two limbs attached to both ends with a hinge. The limbs curve back when the string is pulled and snap back into position when released. This creates a sudden release of tension that propels the arrow with a force higher than the force used to draw.

A basic recurve bow is similar in principle to a longbow, but it is usually smaller. The limbs also curve outward when the bow is held in shooting position. This allows the string to be attached to the limbs themselves, rather than at the tips like other bow designs.

Recurve bows are the only types permitted in Olympic and competitive archery. These bows have limbs made of layers of carbon fiber, fiberglass, or laminated wood cores. The riser is typically aluminum or magnesium, although newer risers use carbon-aluminum hybrids. Risers for beginners are usually wood or plastic.

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Types of Recurve Bows

Recurve BowsRecurve Bows

Kinds of Recurve Bows include the following:

One-piece recurve bows

These recurve bows have a solid construction. The limbs and riser are made from a single piece of material. They are commonly made of laminated wood, or fiberglass with a wooden core. One-piece recurve bows do not bend back as easily as those with hinged limbs, making them harder to draw.

Take-downs with wooden risers

These recurve bows can be disassembled into a separate riser and limbs. Their risers are made of solid wood, which is less durable and snap more easily than metal or composite risers. Some risers are laminated with carbon fiber to make them more durable.

Take-downs with metal risers

These recurve bows also employ a detachable design, making them easy to draw and shoot. Their risers are made from cast or machined metal alloys. Cast risers normally use magnesium alloys, and machined ones use aluminum.

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Choosing Recurve Bows (Buying tips)

Draw weight. This means the amount of force needed to pull the string into a fully drawn position. Choose a recurve bow with a low draw weight for easier shooting and aiming. Most recurves have draw weights of 50 pounds, which should do for most types of sport hunting. If you want a more accurate bow, choose a higher draw weight. This will be harder on the arms, but will allow you to hit more targets.

Materials. Make sure your recurve bow can stand up to strong pulls and tension. Look for one that is rigid but still able to bend and return to position. Carbon fiber limbs and risers last longer, but they are less common and usually expensive. Metal risers are ideal for most users and skill levels. For wooden risers, cedar usually lasts the longest, although they generally have a lower strain threshold than metal.

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